August 2013


by Lori Dwyer on August 30, 2013 · 71 comments

I think being a parent involves having your heart tweaked and fractured every so often. It’s impossible to protect yourself from your children’s hurts. Your own coping strategies are less effective when it’s someone else’s pain.

My daughter attends her first day at daycare yesterday, and when I pick her up there is something not quite right about her; something off about my sunny, bubbly girl.

The reason was as basic and simple as it comes. She’s toilet training, she had an accident at school. The other little girls wouldn’t play with her.

Oh. Ouch. Ouch.

She misses her old school, she tells me, and her friends that were there.

Ouch, ouch, ouch.


My son is, if nothing else, a coper. He’s stoic and strong and he rarely shows it when he’s sad. I witness his pain in tiny slips of his innocent tongue- the things he says without realising he’s saying anything at all.

Playing with his sister, doubled together on a ride-on bike, they’re discussing imaginary destinations.

“I want to go to Heaven says my boy. “With God. And Dad.”

He thinks nothing of it. Both my children continue on with their game.

Ouch. Ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch.


At the moment, it’s all exasperated by that general overwhelming feeling of sadness. I miss my mum. It’s a hollow ache every time I think about it.

If I’m missing her so, I can only imagine how much my kids must be missing their Nonna. How much she must be missing them. We talk on the phone, and I hold back tears, seeing how happy my little ones are just to hear her voice.

Ouch. Ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch.




by Lori Dwyer on August 29, 2013 · 7 comments

My children inevitably settle far quicker than I do. The resilience of small children never ceases to amaze me. They miss their old schools, their house. They miss their Nonna. But they are fine, and that causes me to feel better without even trying.

The Chop starts his new school with the enthusiasm only a five year old boy can muster. His new school is beautiful, and sending him there makes me feel infinitely better. There’s a food garden, and a handful of pet chooks that roam the playground. His teacher goes by first name only, and teaches his students yoga. 

My Bumpy girl started her daycare today, and, again, that makes me feel better. I’m in the New House by myself for the first time today.

And all I really want to do is sleep. I’m so tired. Just typing that sentence was enough to start the tears of exhaustion flowing.

This is difficult. It’s money stress and new place stress and general life stress, exasperated.

I know how to do this. Just keep going. Keep getting up, getting dressed, taking my meds. This too shall pass.

Right now, I’m too overwhelmed to keep my head above the waves.


It feels selfish, whinging about it. God knows some of you think I do enough of that already. The girl who can not be happy, even when she gets what she wants.


We’re close enough that I walk my son to school in the morning, mingling with the dozens of other mothers making their way on foot or bike or by car. Blending in is nice.

My Bump and I walk home, slowly. The air smells of jasmine and eucalypt. It’s the first day of spring in Melbourne.

We stop and smell flowers. We giggle. We skip and jump over cracks. It feels real. I’m closer to my kids already, and we’ve been here less than a week.

I chat to my mate Kristabelle on the phone, sobbing out my silly pains and worries to her. Of everyone I know, Kristabelle’s pep talks are always the ones that hit me deepest.

“A year ago you couldn’t have done this…” She says, and she’s right.

I know, I keep saying this. I have to. It’s become my mantra, a buoy to float on. I can do this.

We will stop and smell the flowers every morning, if that’s what it takes. Somehow… this is all going to be fine.




by Lori Dwyer on August 28, 2013 · 12 comments

The last few days have passed in a blur of chaotic confusion and emotion. All of us– my kids, myself, The Most Amazing Man In The Universe– are slightly discombobulated and worn out.

Moving houses, moving states… it’s exhausting.

My mate The Bear moves us again, bless his huge, bursting heart. Bunny and The Bear and I pack the truck late on Friday afternoon. I sedate the cat, strap the bird cage into the car, and say goodbye to the TinyTrainHouse.

I don’t look back. The Bear gave me that advice when I left the Purple House, and I’ve kept it close and used it often. Very few good things come from looking back at where you’re leaving, especially if it hurts to leave.

Auntie Mickey does the eight hour drive to Melbourne with me. We arrive at five am on Saturday morning to surprise The Most Amazing Man, who thinks we’re coming Saturday afternoon. Still half asleep, he wraps me up in his arms, and it’s like time stops for a minute and it’s just me and him. The world rights itself for a second and everything is always going to be fine.

My mum has flown down with my children, and she spends her two hours in the New House madly helping me unpack. I sob when she leaves, my heart breaking a little.

I will miss her so much.

Auntie Mickey stays until Monday, and when she leaves my heart breaks again. I walk around the house for the next few hours with my breath hitching and peaking in frenzied panic attacks. I can’t stop crying and my mind repeats a stupid story to me; one that says I’m going to be alone and lonely, alone and lonely.

I takes a bit to sink in that I’m not lonely, and I’m certainly not alone. It’s taken until writing this down to realise that what I’m feeling is just an echo of what I’ve felt before. It’s not real. I’ve moved again, and my brain confuses that strange inertia of a new location with the horror of trauma and grieving.

I have to keep reminding myself I’m allowed to be happy. That The Most Amazing Man In The Universe is not leaving us any time soon. That he’s not going anywhere.

I have to keep reminding myself, over and over. It’s all going to be okay.